Defensive End Khalil Mack
The Oakland Raiders really needed that one.
Sunday's 26-15 loss to the Kansas City Chiefs was a tough pill to swallow, considering it could've paid huge dividends in their quest for the postseason if they would've won. Entering the matchup, the Raiders, Chiefs, and Los Angeles Chargers were all tied for first in the AFC West with records of 6-6, but after Week 14 the Silver and Black have fallen one game back of both.
The Chiefs have one of the worst defenses in the league, and were without All-Pro cornerback Marcus Peters, yet the offense was unable to get much of anything going.
"Yesterday [Sunday] was a disappointment," said Head Coach Jack Del Rio during his press conference Monday. "We can't go back and do anything about that. I tell the guys all the time, you get what you earn in this league. What we've earned is a 6-7 record."
While the team's loss was obviously gut-wrenching, there were once again some bright spots; let's check them out in this week's matchup recap, presented by DirecTV.
Raiders Defensive End Khalil Mack vs. Chiefs Tackle Eric Fisher
Not only was it a big day for No. 52, but several members of the Raiders defensive line were active in the trenches. Mack finished the afternoon with six tackles, one for loss, one sack, and one quarterback hit. On the opposite side of the line, linebacker Bruce Irvin had another monstrous day at the office, notching four tackles, two for loss, two sacks, and two quarterback hits.
Since Assistant Head Coach – Defense John Pagano took over defensive play calling duties in Week 12, the Raiders pass rush has come on strong. The team has totaled 12 sacks in three weeks, which is just two sacks shy of what the team's total was 11 weeks into the season (14).
The defense allowed 26 points to the Chiefs, but there's a lot of factors that go into that. Pagano's group has made some impressive strides the past few weeks, and I'm excited to see how they kept growing over the next several weeks.
Raiders Wide Receiver Michael Crabtree vs. Chiefs Cornerback Darrelle Revis
Half of the Raiders wide receivers tandem was sidelined during the game, as Amari Cooper suffered an ankle injury, which meant Michael Crabtree needed to step up in his stead. No. 15 certainly saw his fair share of targets (13) from quarterback Derek Carr, and hauled in seven receptions, but the duo were unable to connect in the end zone. Crabtree's 60 receiving yards were second among all Raiders receivers, tight end Jared Cook finished with the most (75 yards, and one touchdown).
For Chiefs veteran cornerback Darrelle Revis, he was essentially a ghost all afternoon. The Raiders might not have dominated through the air, but Revis failed to register one tackle, and his only stat was one pass defensed. To be fair, this was only the former Pittsburgh Panther's second game this season, but regardless, it didn't seem like he made much of an impact,.
I wish I could say the Raiders ruled the day through the air, but the Chiefs ultimately got the win.
Raiders Tight End Jared Cook vs. Chiefs Tight End Travis Kelce
As mentioned above, Cook finished the day as the Raiders leading receiver with 75 yards, and added one touchdown in the process, which is one yard and one touchdown more than Kelce had. Kelce is clearly one of the Chiefs' primary weapons on offense, and they targeted him early and often, all day long. He could've had two touchdowns, but both were negated by Chiefs' penalties.
The Silver and Black have actually done a decent job of limiting Kelce all season, not allowing him to get remotely close to surpassing the 100-yard mark. With the dust settled, I think it's fair to say Cook got the best of Kelce Sunday, but it was definitely a good matchup between the two.